IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL WELL BEING OF AN INFANT TO BE ABLE TO FEED ON DEMAND.
Studies have shown that if an infants needs are not consistently met they become stressed and a hormone called Cortisol is released, with evidence proving that exposure of this stress hormone can have a negative effect on the infants brain development. And when an infant feeds from their mother, a hormone called Oxytocin is released which encourages well being and attachment to the mother.
Oxytocin is released while breastfeeding. “It is proven to help reduce stress in infants, soothes and reduces pain and helps to regulate the infants core body temperature and blood glucose levels.” (Dewar 2014)
In the first few weeks of an infants life, the infant will feed very frequently, around twice an hour with the feeding time sometimes being around 40 minutes per feed. If the mother is unable to stay at home for this period of time for whatever reason it can become hard for her to feed her baby on demand as some establishments do not accept public breastfeeding as appropriate.
This is where the government needs to step in with a campaign to help people have a better understanding on the needs of an infant with regards to feeding and the rights of a mother to breastfeed anywhere she needs to.